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Vermont Rural Ventures’ Project Selected as Semi-Finalist for National Award

Posted May 1, 2015

Vermont Rural Ventures’ innovative financing of the redevelopment of Brattleboro’s Brooks House has been chosen as a semi-finalist by the National Development Council (NDC) for its Academy 2015 Awards. The awards recognize the top economic and community development projects in the nation and are part of the NDC Academy 2015 biennial conference.

Vermont Rural Ventures, the community development subsidiary of Housing Vermont, partnered with the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, to provide $23.4 million in New Markets Tax Credit authority to redevelop and restore the historic circa 1871 Brooks House, a mixed-use commercial building located in the heart of Brattleboro’s downtown.

“The Brooks House block occupies a prominent place in downtown Brattleboro,” said Hildene President and NDC Board Member Seth Bongartz. “Redeveloping that property was crucial for the area, and I am incredibly proud to see Vermont being recognized for innovation and community strength on the national stage.”

Completed in the fall 2014, the Brooks House includes classrooms for the Vermont Technical College and the Community College of Vermont, retail shops, three restaurants and 23 mixed-income apartments.

The Historic Brooks House Redevelopment Project was selected by NDC as a semi-finalist in the Community Development category. One project in each category will be awarded the top honor at the NDC Academy 2015 Awards on May 14. To learn more about the Brooks House Project, visit:


Save the Date: Downtown and Historic Preservation Conference, June 5th

Posted April 14, 2015

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development in partnership with the Preservation Trust of Vermont is pleased to announce open registration to the Downtown and Historic Preservation Conference in Burlington Friday, June 5th at Main Street Landing. The conference will offer a wide range of topics to enhance the quality of life in our downtowns and villages including Using Streets to Revitalize Communities, Increasing Downtown Housing Opportunities, Innovating Community Engagement, Techniques to Flood Proof Buildings, Attracting Visitors to your Downtown and more. Several tours in the afternoon will highlight Burlington in a way you have never seen including a Walking History Tour of Burlington’s Waterfront, Edible History of Burlington, among others.

The key note speaker is Geoffrey Anderson of Smart Growth America named by Partners for Livable Communities as “One of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Sustainable Community Planning and Development.” Geoff came to his current position after eight years heading the Smart Growth Program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In the past year, Smart Growth America has worked to support the Agency of Transportation’s efforts revitalizing Main Streets, spurring downtown investment and creating more opportunities for Vermonters to walk, bike or take bus to downtown jobs, shops and schools.

AICP CM credits are available for select sessions pending approval.

Registration is now open so take advantage of Early Bird rates while they last. Attendance is limited to 250 so be sure register early.

Register online now:

If you would like more information about the conference including sponsorship opportunities, please contact or 802-828-3220.



2013 Downtown & Historic Preservation Conference

Posted May 28, 2013

The Department of Housing and Community Development Preservation Trust of Vermont presents the 2013 Downtown & Historic Preservation Conference! Join professionals in downtown revitalization, historic preservation, planning, tourism and economic development to network and learn. The keynote speaker will be David Feehan, an expert in downtown revitalization.

When: Friday, June 7, 2013/9:00am – 4:00pm
Where: The Barre Opera House, Downtown Barre, VT

See Conference Website for Full Agenda
Register Today 


Sen. Leahy, Gov. Shumlin Announce Agreement and Funding for the Redevelopment of a State Office Complex Building for Affordable Housing

Posted February 17, 2013

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) awarded $950,000 to fund the redevelopment of the Vermont State Office Complex’s Ladd Hall into affordable housing. The announcement was made last Friday, February 15, by U.S Senator Patrick Leahy and Governor Peter Shumlin. Funding for the project comes from the over $20 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds that the ACCD received through HUD following Tropical Storm Irene. CDBG grants were awarded to five additional Vermont communities. These grants will fund affordable housing and community-strengthening initiatives across the state, and total over $1 million.

View PDF of Full Press Release

View Descriptions of CDBG Grants


Public Hearing – 2013 Action Plan for HUD Consolidated Plan

Posted January 29, 2013

The State of Vermont’s Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development will conduct a public hearing in preparation of developing its 2013 Action Plan for the HUD Consolidated Plan for 2010-2015, to hear views about the State’s housing and community development needs, including priority non-housing community development needs and development of proposed activities, and review past performance related to its HUD Consolidated Plan. The plan constitutes the State’s application for, and outlines priorities for use of approximately $10 million in Federal funding provided annually to the State for the Community Development Block Grants (CBDG), Home Investment Partnerships (HOME), and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG).  The goals of the plan are to provide decent housing, assure a suitable living environment, and expand economic opportunities for Vermont’s citizens. The State’s Consolidated Plan is available on the Department’s website.

When: Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Where: Calvin Coolidge Room, Davis Building, 1 National Life Drive, Montpelier – sixth floor. 

The hearing room is handicapped accessible.  Accommodations for persons with disabilities, and interpreters to meet the needs of non-english speaking persons will be made available upon request.  Requests should be directed to Arthur Hamlin at (802) 828-3211; TTY#1-800-253-0191, or in writing to Arthur Hamlin, Housing Program Coordinator, Vermont DEHCD, 1 National Life Drive, 6th Floor, Montpelier, VT  05620 by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday February 5, 2013.

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The Rose Street Artists’ Co-op is thriving in Burlington’s Old North End

Posted December 21, 2012

Reposted from Vermont Life Magazine, “Creative Solution” by Melissa Pasenen. Photographs by Jerry Swope.

Over the past fifteen years, the Rose Street Artists’ Co-op in The Old North End of Burlington transformed from a deteriorating warehouse to a thriving arts space and community center. The Co-op demonstrates the importance of supporting artists and arts-programming within a community, and how it serves to strengthen neighborhoods. According to Polly Nichol, the Housing Programs Director at the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, “The arts community is a really important partner in revitalizing downtowns and village centers.”

View PDF of Full Vermont Life Article



Governor Shumlin Announces $1.7 Million Grant for Healthy Homes Program

Posted October 2, 2012

By: Susan Allen, Office of the Governor and Ron Rupp, VHCB, Press Release, October 1, 2012

“MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont’s Congressional delegation announced today that the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB) will receive a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund Healthy Homes Vermont. The new program will add to existing rehabilitation programs, providing assistance to correct building issues that contribute to unhealthy living conditions like mold, moisture and pest infestation, and particularly affect vulnerable groups, such as children with asthma and the elderly…”

PDF of Full Press Release


Burlington’s King Street Neighborhood Looks to Build Up — Without Gentrifying

Posted September 25, 2012

By: Kathryn Flagg. Reposted from Seven Days, September 19, 2012.

“Jodi Whalen says Burlington’s King Street neighborhood was ‘a little beaten down’ when she and her husband, Phil Merrick, opened their café and bakery, August First, in 2009. Today, the section is on the upswing, but with empty buildings and vacant lots, Whalen sees room for improvement.

‘Burlington needs to build up,’ she says, “and this is a great neighborhood to do that…'”

Link to Full Seven Days Article

PDF of Full Article


Senator Bernie Sanders Recognized by National Housing Group

Posted September 14, 2012

By Chris Donnelly, Champlain Housing Trust & Jessica Grant, National CLT Network, September 11, 2012

Burlington, Vermont – “The National Community Land Trust Network recognized US Senator Bernie Sanders with the Swann Matthei Award Tuesday on the opening day of its 2012 national conference in Burlington, Vermont. The Swann Matthei Award was named for two individuals who helped to lay the foundation for the development of community land trusts in the United States: Bob Swann and Chuck Matthei. It recognizes the outstanding contribution of an individual or organization in promoting the use of the community land trust in building and sustaining community…”

Link to Full Press Release


VCDA Presents a Community Tour: Hardwick, A Success Story – July 19, 2012

Posted June 29, 2012

The Vermont Community Development Association (VCDA) Presents a Community Tour:

Hardwick a Success Story!

Thursday, July 19, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Join VCDA on a tour to see why Hardwick has become a Vermont “Success Story”!

  • Please find the complete registration packet attached for your review.
  • Please RSVP by July 12 using the attached registration form.
  • Let us know if you have any questions.

Jessica Hill, Manager of Human Resources and Administration

On behalf of the Vermont Community Development Association

Full Information: Hardwick Community Tour 2012


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